Sports Resilience Package to offer up to $15k in operating grants
SportSG unveils details of $50m support package, with up to $15k in grants for venue operators and academies, $400-$600 monthly stipend for coach-mentors
National sports agency Sport Singapore (SportSG) yesterday revealed details of the Government's $50 million Sports Resilience Package (SRP), which was announced last month.
SportSG has published information regarding the grant criteria, framework and offered a list of answers to frequently asked questions on the ActiveSG Circle website.
The SRP features a series of grants targeted at various members of the sports fraternity, including venue operators, sports business owners, event organisers and coaches.
Besides the "Blended" Initiative and Enterprise Innovation and Capability Development grants - both of which have already started to dole out funds to successful applicants, SportSG has released details of an Operating Grant for private academies and clubs, private league operators and facility operators as well as two grants for coaches.
The Operating Grant will offer support to over 100 entities who contribute to athlete pipeline development, with successful applicants receiving support of around 25 per cent of their total operating expenses, capped at $15,000 per month, from now till March 2021.
Co-owner of futsal venue The Cage, Rajesh Mulani, said he would be applying for the grant. The Cage, which has pitches at three locations, is operating at 30-35 per cent of utilisation pre-Covid-19, with revenue down by 65 per cent.
The 50-year-old told The New Paper: "(The grant) is not going to bring us to a completely happy space, but to be very honest, this will be very useful...
"The grant on its own will not be the only thing we rely on... we need to come to the table and do our part as well... by innovating... and thinking of different ways to raise revenue."
He added that while he would be grateful for the grant support, should the Government relax its restriction on the size of gatherings outside homes to 10, The Cage would be able to "thrive as a business" without government support.
While there is no plan to increase the current cap from five to 10 people, it could be upped to eight before the end of the year. Education Minister Lawrence Wong said last week that Singapore may be able to enter phase three of its reopening before 2021.
Jacqueline Chan, director of Odysseus Aquatics swim school, is planning to apply for the Digital Content Development Grant, but with revenue now just 20-30 per cent of pre-coronavirus levels, she believes phase three's arrival may be more beneficial than grant support.
Said the 35-year-old: "Any amount of grant money is a good amount... But what would make the biggest difference is if the group size is increased. Maybe we could open up a little more classes because now we are only running two sessions per hour.
"It's not great for our swimmers in terms of developing their stroke and it's not great for the business as well."
For freelance athletics coach Sky Khoo, he is more intrigued by the nature of the Structured Mentoring Programme - which is open to coaches registered under the National Registry of Coaches - than the expected monthly stipend of $400-$600 per month.
Said the 37-year-old, who supplements his coaching income - which has dropped by 10-20 per cent compared to pre-Covid-19 levels - by working as a social distancing ambassador: "I'm not looking at the amount offered, what I am looking at is the programme because I feel that there should be a bridge between senior coaches and junior coaches...
"I believe there are a lot of coaches around that mentor junior coaches, without being recognised... To me, the money is more like a token of appreciation."